People are much more aware of what they purchase and from whom.

A credit union? How do you expect me to market THAT?!

You’re a world-class marketer (even if still waiting on the world to recognize that fact), and a new client walks in your door. You ask how you can help, and they start talking about their business.

Seems they’ve been around for over 60 years, with a decent customer base. Unfortunately that base is starting to age out of wanting the most profitable things they sell. So they’ve decided that they need to get younger customers.

But they’ve always struggled for attention in the market because of much-larger competitors with deeper pockets. Competitors that basically sell the same things (not as good of course), but usually with newer packaging and bigger marketing budgets.

So what do you call your business?, you ask.

A credit union, they reply.

A credit union? A CREDIT UNION?? How do you expect me to market THAT?!

About that time you wake up. Or at least I usually do.

And I realize that it was all just a weird dream. With a bit of my life thrown in to make it feel a bit more surreal.

After all, I do market credit unions. But I enjoy it.

Sure, there are negatives that come with CU clients.

Too small budgets. Too many Boards tied to the past. Too many CEOs picking logo colors, and not enough clients willing to try something different and push past limitations… just to mention a few.

But there are all kinds of positives as well.

While too many for-profit businesses seem to be focused on increasing profits by any means necessary, credit unions are completely sincere in their goals and ethics.

And refreshingly human as well. Since credit unions are staffed, managed, and owned by their members, they’re also much more diverse, and they share an amazing sense of respect and caring for their members.

That’s a pretty rare combination these days.

Which makes CUs very marketable.

People are much more aware of what they purchase and from whom. Local businesses and farmer’s markets. Wholesome, healthy and organic.

They’re more interested in causes (inclusive) than clubs (exclusive). People are looking for connections that not only benefit themselves, but also their local community; connections that make the world a better place.

They want the companies they deal with to have a purpose. They want to work with (and for) companies that care.

In short, people are interested in better alternatives.

And credit unions ARE that better alternative. All you really have to do is give them the reasons why.

That’s not to say that marketing a credit union is easy.

People don’t shop for financial services nearly as often as they do for groceries, clothes and home goods. You have to be there when they are ready. You still have to connect the dots – show them how what you offer will benefit them more than what your competition offers.

But when you give them a CU they can believe in, you start out way ahead of the pack.

Kent Dicken

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